Friday, November 27, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

As you may have read, my sous chef and I have a new kitchen! Sadly, the oven in our new kitchen is in need of a funeral and a new one is on the 'need' list. In this time, I'm taking a lot of help from my crockpot, the grocery store, and my 'No-Oven' tag.

Our first meal in our new home was this taco meal. Whenever I ask my sous chef to take care of dinner, his first response is a higher pitched, 12 year old like, question of "TACOS?!" It's kinda cute ;) Anyway, in honor of him, I decided to make him some slow cooked chicken for soft tacos.

As you might recall from my Chicken Enchiladas post, I made a Mexican Spice Blend. I still have that blend on hand, and I chose to use this blend for this slow-cooked chicken. I took 2 chicken breasts, added a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, and added about 2 teaspoons of the spice blend to the crockpot. You can cook this chicken to the time you need, but I would suggest putting your chicken in frozen if you plan to cook it for longer than 6 hours.

I took some additional help from the grocery store in purchasing some fresh salsa and fresh pico de gallo. We added shredded cheese and sour cream, as well. We had a terrific and delicious simple meal at home and it tasted so fresh! Hope this helps you for dinner on a night when you need something easy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crockpot 3 Bean Turkey Chili

I made another one of Gina's fabulous recipes! My sous chef and I were about to move, and I wanted something that wouldn't require a lot of effort to reheat for leftovers if needed.

I love this chili recipe because it got me eating things I'd never eaten before, like chickpeas! Plus, it was a super easy recipe, just like my last post. All I had to do was cook up the turkey and onion, then toss it in the crockpot with all the other ingredients!
If you like Frito's with your chili, like my sous chef, don't forget to pick some up at the store when you shop for these ingredients :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime

If you follow along, you've probably seen me make a few of Gina's recipes from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes. For lunch one day, I just had to make another one of her delicious looking recipes!

Let me just say that I don't know of a homemade recipe that could be any easier?! That's a good thing! It makes this recipe that much more worth it.

The recipe creates a coating that goes all into one bowl, then you cover the chicken in the sauce. That's it! Here's the chicken before they went in the oven!
And look how delicious when they come out!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fried Dill Pickles

We're chuggin' along at the 75th post :) Any suggestions for 100? I've been thinking about it since 50, but I just don't know what I want to do to celebrate 100.

Anyway, for the 75th, I made one of my sous chef's FAVORITE appetizers. He and I have made them before when we were in college, but the batch we made then just wasn't right. It was way too salty. We still ate them, but they weren't our favorite.
This time around, I stumbled upon the perfect recipe as these were better than any I have ever tasted in a restaurant before. This recipe from was fabulous!Ingredients
1 pint sliced dill pickles, undrained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
Vegetable oil

Drain pickles, reserving 2/3-cup pickle juice. Press pickles between paper towels. Combine 2/3 cup pickle juice, egg, 1 tablespoon flour, and hot sauce. Stir well and set aside.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Blend well. Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry coated pickles in 375-degree oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Yes, these aren't the healthiest things in the world, but they make great finger foods for a party where hopefully each person only eats a few :) This is by far the best fried pickle recipe I have ever had. Grab some fat free ranch at the store, too, for your fried pickle dipping sauce.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken "Divine"

It's been a long time, I know, but as you can tell from my previous post, we've moved! My sous chef and I have a new place to cook! Not much baking will be going on because the oven in our new abode is useless, but that's ok. That handy 'No-Oven' tag on the right will help me cook in our new kitchen!

This recipe is one from nearly a month ago, but that doesn't change how delicious it is! This is the first recipe that I've made from my Bride & Groom cookbook that we got as a wedding gift.Ingredients
4 cups fresh broccoli florets, or 2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1 jar (16 oz.) Alfredo sauce, such as Classico
2 cups (4 oz.) grated smoked Gouda or Edam cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 cups cooked penne, macaroni or orecchiette (about 3 cups dried)
2 cups shredded roast chicken, home cooked or purchased
1/4 cup dry Italian-style bread crumbs
Paprika for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

If using fresh broccoli, cook the florets in a steamer until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain thoroughly. If using thawed frozen broccoli, squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, kosher salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the milk, and nutmeg. Then stir in the cooked pasta, broccoli, and chicken and mix thoroughly.

Transfer to an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish.
Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Tip: This casserole can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated. It can also be assembled and then frozen. If the casserole was frozen, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.

Yum! This dish was an absolute hit for both myself and my sous chef. It also tastes great as leftovers, and, yes, you will have leftovers. I would take some help from the grocery store, if I was you. Most grocery store are now selling roasted chickens, which is what I used. Yes, you could roast your own chicken, but that will definitely take longer. However you decide to make this recipe, it will certainly be delicious! Enjoy :)


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